The Stop Hinkley Campaign has called on the new Government to raise its ambitions on energy policy and transform the South-West England economy. “First the new Government needs to recognise that nuclear power is a dead duck. Then it should jump on the local energy revolution bandwagon and draw up plans for a 100% renewable energy system for the South-West by 2050”, said campaign spokesperson Allan Jeffery. “Such a programme would deliver more jobs, and cheaper energy, at a lower cost and without all the local disruption which Hinkley implies. What are we waiting for?” The new Government has a choice – go-ahead with the financial millstone of nuclear power with consumers paying for decades to come with much of the expenditure flowing out of the region, or develop a sustainable energy programme which will boost local jobs and the local economy. We urge them to choose the latter,” said Jeffery (includes summary of problems with Hinkley project and latest reports on renewables for South West).
Stop Hinkley 8th May 2015 read more »
Talks about French utility EDF buying nuclear group Areva’s reactor business are being held up by disagreements about its value, two sources close to the talks said on Thursday. The companies and the French government, which owns 87 percent of Areva and 85 percent of EDF, are discussing two scenarios. The first is a takeover Areva’s nuclear engineering arm. The second is a takeover of Areva’s entire nuclear reactors business, which includes the engineering business. Both sources said EDF had made a firm offer of 280 to 300 million euros for the engineering arm, which employs about 10,000 staff and which Areva values at 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion). The second scenario would involve a complete takeover of Areva’s nuclear reactor division, Areva NP, which employs about 17,000 people, of which 10,000 are in France. The first source said the government favors a complete takeover, but valuations range from 2 to 3 billion euros, and while EDF is ready to make an offer, a more precise valuation is proving difficult to establish.
Reuters 7th May 2015 read more »
Many investors have given the nuclear industry a wide berth since the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi complex in 2011. It’s hardly surprising that the industry was forced to go through one of its periodic reassessments in the public eye. Harnessing energy from a fundamentally unstable feedstock has always been divisive – in every sense of the word. UK companies are involved in various facets of the industry, but because of the vast capital nuclear projects draw in, they’re usually collaborative affairs between private industry and government. Therein lies the rub; although contracts linked to the nuclear industry tend to be long-dated, they’re open to political intervention. However, the ball has been set in motion for the construction of the UK’s first nuclear power plant in 20 years, after the government reached agreement with French energy company EDF to build its Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset. This could prove good news for many UK-listed engineers and miners.
Investors Chronicle 8thMay 2015 read more »
A “transformer failure” occurred at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, N.Y., on Saturday, sending plumes of black smoke into the air and raising concerns that the foam used to extinguish the flames could pose an environmental hazard. The fire at the plant, located 24 miles from New York City, began around 6 p.m. and was doused by the plant’s sprinkler system. It did not amount to a “nuclear emergency”, said Jerry Nappi, a spokesman for Entergy, the company that operates Indian Point. No one was injured, he added. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called the fire “a relatively minor situation,” but said the transformer had been “badly damaged” by the flames.
New York Times 9th May 2015 read more »
A unit at Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan, New York state, was shut down following a transformer failure and fire on Saturday, and at one point smoke was seen rising from the facility. But the plant was stable and there was no danger to the public or employees, Entergy Corp said. Several people tweeted from nearby that they saw a big explosion. Several emergency calls reported a loud noise at the plant, which is located about 40 miles (65 km) north of New York city on the east bank of the Hudson river, a New York State police spokesman said.
Guardian 10th May 2015 read more »
A transformer exploded at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in suburban New York – only 35 miles away from midtown Manhattan – on Saturday, sending black smoke billowing into the sky. The blaze, which sparked an oil leakage, forced the automatic shutdown of the facility’s Unit 3 reactor, which sits near the Hudson River and supplies five per cent of the power to the state. It was initially extinguished by a sprinkler system and on-site personnel, officials said. It then started up again, but has since been put out. Police and firefighters were at the site as a ‘precaution’.
Daily Mail 10th May 2015 read more »
ITV 10th May 2015 read more »
Reuters 10th May 2015 read more »
Telegraph 10th May 2015 read more »
Canada – radwaste
The chief of the Saugeen First Nation says he has Ontario Power Generations word that the planned underground storage for nuclear waste at Bruce Power will not go ahead without his support. Chief Vernon Roote says there is a potential of a natural disaster creating a leak in the repository, and contaminating the worlds largest source of fresh water for many generations. “It would go downstream, and pollute the fresh water that people need to sustain themselves,” says Roote. “There are enough problems already with the lack of fresh water, and here we are basically creating a potential issue for the future.” He says they have treaty rights that need to be addressed, and are prepared for a legal battle.
Blackburn News 8th May 2015 read more »
The Saugeen Ojibway Nation is not in agreement with the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation to proceed with a plan to bury nuclear waste deep under Bruce County. And Ontario Power Generation, the proponents of the proposed project to bury low- and intermediate-level waste at the site, continue to insist that SON approval is necessary for the project to proceed. “Of course we are opposed to it,” Saugeen First Nation chief Vernon Roote said on Thursday. “In our community that I represent, called Saugeen First Nation, there are no members that are agreeable to the burial at the site at this time.”
Owen Sound Times 7th May 2015 read more »
A federal environmental assessment panel has just released its report approving a proposal by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to bury nuclear waste on the shores of Lake Huron in a “Deep Geological Repository” (DGR). The panel’s conclusions come as no surprise to informed observers: the impartiality of the environmental assessment process had been in question for months. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has never been known as a friend of the environment. But when the Harper Conservatives won a majority government in 2008 they made sweeping changes to Canada’s environmental laws. One change was to remove responsibility for environmental assessment of nuclear projects from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and put the CNSC in charge. Instead of conducting an objective assessment of OPG’s nuclear waste burial scheme, the CNSC acted as a strong proponent.
Rabble 8th May 2015 read more »
Canada – uranium
A government advisory board in Nunavut has recommended against allowing a French company to build a uranium mine that was proposed for the edge of a caribou calving ground. The Nunavut Impact Review Board has concluded that since Areva’s Kiggavik project lacks a definite start date or development schedule, its environmental and social impacts cannot be properly assessed.
CBC 8th May 2015 read more »
North Korea claims to have test-fired a new “world-level strategic weapon” – raising new fears over its nuclear threat. The country’s leader Kim Jong-Un was reportedly watching as the ballistic missile was fired from a submarine.
Mirror 8th May 2015 read more »
In 2008, the NSG exempted India from the requirement adopted by the NSG in 1992 banning nuclear cooperation with any state that had not accepted IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) comprehensive safeguards. That move allowed India to engage in nuclear trade with NSG members. India is now bidding for NSG membership. It is argued that exempting India once again from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) condition would undermine the Group. The process of negotiations during the NSG waiver enables us to examine the prospects of India becoming a member.
Diplomat 9th May 2015 read more »
An 85-year-old nun and two Army veterans sent to prison after breaking into a U.S. defense site for storing enriched uranium for nuclear bombs did not commit sabotage and should be re-sentenced, an appeals court has ruled.
Reuters 9th May 2015 read more »
Renewables – heat pumps
The first renewable energy scheme in Scotland to draw heat from the sea could be installed in Shetland later this year. The archipelago’s capital of Lerwick is already host to the largest district heating scheme in Scotland which allows 1100 homes as well as 100 industrial and public buildings to be heated by means of a pipe which circulates hot water around the UK’s most northerly town. The system is currently heated by burning the islands’ household and industrial rubbish. The plan is to meet growing demand for connections to the system by adding an extra source of heat through the extraction of heat from the seawater in Lerwick harbour. The project was devised because, despite importing rubbish from neighbouring Orkney as well as from the Highlands, the sparse population of the north of Scotland means that there is insufficient waste to burn to meet demand from the town’s district heating system.
Sunday Herald 10th May 2015 read more »
Labour councillor Ray Davies was a legendary figure in politics in Caerphilly and in Wales, but his scope stretched far beyond the local and national, to pursue the cause of peace and justice universally; representing not only his local constituents, but the very best of the socialist tradition of the South Wales valleys, and its internationalist vision. He spent his life campaigning for an endless number of causes, but all informed by a deep-rooted socialism that refused to break whilst others bent to accommodate the modernising requirements dictated by the powerful and super-rich. The tributes paid to Ray Davies following his sudden passing will be numerous and heartfelt.
Yes Cymru 8th May 2015 read more »